I am often told, “Squatting hurts my knees” and yet, we can’t avoid this fundamental human movement. Think of how many times you do these movements during the day.
- Get up from a chair, couch or the potty
- Pick something up off the ground
- Get out of a car
- Get out of bed
Being able to do this motion is quite important for quality of life and independence as you age. This is why I regularly have my clients practice squatting. When done repeatedly, it’s a great strengthening exercise that uses the larger muscles in the legs.
Aging client is practicing squatting facing the wall. Sometimes I put a chair behind the person if they feel that they might go backwards. This awkward way to squat REALLY takes care of the knees and teaches the person to push their rear end back keeping the knees in proper alignment over their toes.
Listed below are a few other common mistakes people make when squatting:
Common Squatting Mistakes Explained
Bringing Knees Together
Knees should line up between the hip and foot when viewed from the front. As you start moving upward, try not to let your knees come together
Favoring One Leg
Try not to shift your weight when you are squatting. You should feel like you have equal pressure on both feet and feel the muscles of both legs doing an equal amount of work.
Many of you have had an injury or surgery on a hip, knee, or ankle. While the bad leg was healing, you shifted more of the workload onto the good leg. Unfortunately, this pattern became so engrained that you continue to squat this way even after your injured leg has healed.
If you continue to do this, you’re always going to have one leg that’s weaker.
Looking at the Floor
I tell my clients, “You are going to GO the direction you are looking!”
When getting out of a chair, pick a spot out in front of you that is about four or five feet high and fix your eyes on it as you get up. Looking forward in this manner will ensure that your head is up and your body goes the direction you intended.
Feet Too Close Together
Wider legs are more stable. Get your feet at least ten inches apart before you try to stand up. This is a simple fix and will result in much greater stability.
When you are squatting for exercise, remember that you are strengthening your muscles both on the way up as you move against gravity, and on the way down, as you try to control your descent. Gravity wants to pull you down into that chair and make you PLOP.
You may already be too weak in the legs to do the squat correctly from a chair. You can still improve your leg strength over time. Try the squat from your bed; it may be higher than most chairs.
To strengthen your legs using the squat, you can do 1 or 2 sets of 8-15 squats 2 or 3 times per week. Become aware of your squat form every time you get up from that chair!
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Lisa Wright – ISSA Fitness Professional
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Owner/Director of Operations
PS For more info visit this link http://www.seniorexercisesonline.com/how-to-squat.html